I’m one of the 55.5% of listeners who stream podcasts on the Apple Podcasts app because it’s the default app on my phone. I assure you if not for the main feature of “it’s right there,” I would not be using it so often. Although there is a number of things that could be improved upon, here I include my main three proposed interface changes.
1. There’s no defined home page. Instead we get three different seemingly arbitrary compilations that are labeled “Library,” “Shows,” and “Listen Now.” They’re not easily distinguishable enough to intuitively know which one to open to access the desired episode/podcast.
“Shows” are even embedded inside the “Library” drop list of existing shows, so it doesn’t even serve any purpose.
“Listen Now” is ordered in chronological order by latest episode, but there’s no option to prioritize by other scales.
(You couldn’t push up an episode you really want to listen to toward the top.)
2. There is not a simple way to queue episodes without the user having to click on a show, play the episode, open the “Now Playing” window, click on the subtle three dots at the bottom right of the screen, and then finally press “play next”. I should be able to pull up a list of episodes of the show and swipe to queue next. This is a feature most streaming apps (Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music) have that makes the user experience better.
3. There are two different options to download an episode and “add to library.” Counterintuitively, downloading an episode doesn’t save it to the library. Although you can now stream this episode offline, there’s no direct way to access it. My proposed fix for this problem is to have one “add” button for each episode, and an option to download it after the user has selected to add the episode. It’s a small fix but one that I think eliminates a lot of overall confusion.
These are such painfully simple fixes that I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t develop them for a platform that so many consumers and creators use. Unless Apple wants its users to switch to podcast streaming alternatives like Spotify or Pocket Casts, these changes need to be made.